Today is Tuesday, Sept. 27, the 270th day of 2011. There are 95 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

Sept. 27, 1941 was "Liberty Fleet Day" as the United States launched 14 rapidly built military cargo vessels, including the first Liberty ship, the SS Patrick Henry, which was personally launched by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Baltimore.

On this date:

In 1540, Pope Paul III issued a papal bull establishing the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, as a religious order.

In 1779, John Adams was named by Congress to negotiate the Revolutionary War's peace terms with Britain.

In 1854, the first great disaster involving an Atlantic Ocean passenger vessel occurred when the steamship SS Arctic sank off Newfoundland; of the more than 400 people on board, only 86 survived.

In 1928, the United States said it was recognizing the Nationalist Chinese government.

In 1939, Warsaw, Poland, surrendered after weeks of resistance to invading forces from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II.

In 1942, Glenn Miller and his Orchestra performed together for the last time, at the Central Theater in Passaic, N.J., prior to Miller's entry into the Army.

In 1961, the animated TV series "Top Cat," about a gang of mischievous Broadway alley cats, premiered on ABC.

In 1964, the government publicly released the report of the Warren Commission, which found that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in assassinating President John F. Kennedy.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush announced in a nationally broadcast address that he was eliminating all U.S. battlefield nuclear weapons, and called on the Soviet Union to match the gesture. The Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked, 7-7, on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1994, more than 350 Republican congressional candidates gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to sign the "Contract with America," a 10-point platform they pledged to enact if voters sent a GOP majority to the House.

Ten years ago: An armed man went on a shooting rampage in the local parliament of Zug, Switzerland, killing 14 people before taking his own life. President George W. Bush asked the nation's governors to post National Guard troops at airports as a first step toward federal control of airline security.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush hosted a peacemaking dinner at the White House for the bickering leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan, General Pervez Musharraf (pur-VEHZ' moo-SHAH'-ruhv) and Hamid Karzai (HAH'-mihd KAHR'-zeye). Republicans announced they would hold their 2008 presidential convention in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. A gunman took six girls hostage at a high school in Bailey, Colo.; he molested some of them and killed one girl before committing suicide.

One year ago: Southwest Airlines announced the $1.4 billion purchase of AirTran. Temperatures reached 113 degrees in downtown Los Angeles, the highest in records kept since 1877.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Jayne Meadows is 91. Actress Kathleen Nolan is 78. Actor Wilford Brimley is 77. Actor Claude Jarman Jr. is 77. Author Barbara Howar is 77. Producer Don Cornelius ("Soul Train") is 75. World Golf Hall of Famer Kathy Whitworth is 72. Singer-musician Randy Bachman (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) is 68. Rock singer Meat Loaf is 64. Actress Liz Torres is 64. Actor A Martinez is 63. Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt is 62. Actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa is 61. Rock musician Greg Ham (Men At Work) is 58. Singer Shaun Cassidy is 53. Rock singer Stephan (STEE'-fan) Jenkins (Third Eye Blind) is 47. Actor Patrick Muldoon is 43. Singer Mark Calderon is 41. Actress Amanda Detmer is 40. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is 39. Rock singer Brad Arnold (3 Doors Down) is 33. Christian rock musician Grant Brandell (Underoath) is 30. Rapper Lil' Wayne is 29. Singer Avril Lavigne (AV'-rihl la-VEEN') is 27.

Thought for Today: "I have lived in this world just long enough to look carefully the second time into things that I am most certain of the first time." _ "Josh Billings" (Henry Wheeler Shaw), American humorist (1818-1885).

(Above Advance for Use Tuesday, Sept. 27)

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.